I’ve known Laura McGee Kvasnosky for over 25 years. I met her in an evening class at an art school on how to make picture books. It was taught by Keith Baker and was inspiring and bursting with the kind of info every newbie was looking for. There were several other luminaries in the class as well.
Laura’s grasp on what we were being taught was great and she was soon published. (It took me another 10 years.) Her list of titles grew quickly, and I’ve loved every one of them. With a particular love of the half dozen or so Zelda & Ivy books. The two young fox sisters and their charming day to day activities.
When she came out with Little Wolf’s First Howling, coauthored and illustrated with her sister Kate Harvey McGee, a couple years ago, I was so happy to see it. It was kind of a new art style for her but employing the same technique she has used for previous books with just a little bit of updating. Laura still does the lovely line work. She scans it and sends it to her sister, Kate, who digitally colors it in a pastel look. It is beautiful and fun read-aloud. If you haven’t seen it, you definitely need to take a look.
But this post is about her new release, SQUEAK! Again, coauthored and illustrated with her sister using the same technique and style.
SQUEAK! tells the story of the wilderness (seems like maybe Yosemite) waking up early. All set in motion by a wee mouse who squeaks when the breeze tickles its ear.
In this wonderfully cyclical story, the waking of one creature begets the waking of another. From chipmunks to trout, eagle to bear, wolf to bighorn, soon enough the whole forest, fields, mountains are wide awake. The spreads are all expansive and full of fun things to find on repeat readings.
Like Little Wolf’s First Howling, SQUEAK! is a rousing read-aloud, too. I know this firsthand because I saw it in action at Laura’s book launch earlier this week. She had kids in the audience responsible for each animal and they vociferously did their part during Laura’s reading of the book.
The book is full of Grrrrs and Ka-bonks and Wah-wooshes and a cacophony of other animal sounds—and of course, a squeak. Or two. A truly charming book that begs me to take a trip outside.
The winner of MOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE SCARES: A ZOMBIE TALE from our Sept. 10 post is Kaitlyn Sanchez. Congrats Kaitlyn!